Sunday, July 7, 2013
Meddlesome Moth (Dallas, TX)
Meddlesome Moth isn't really a place you would think to look for barbecue, but as a gastropub, they have a lot of really interesting food offerings on the menu...including ribs! My wife and I don't get out as much as we'd like to, so today was a great opportunity for a random dinner date. We headed on over to the Dallas design district to give Meddlesome Moth a try.
As soon as you walk in the door, your eyes are immediately drawn to the huge stained glass windows towering over the back half of the dining room. The upscale, semi-posh atmosphere of Meddlesome Moth doesn't really scream "rock and roll," that is until closer examination of the three stained glass panels depicting some true rock legends: Chuck Berry, Elvis, and Jerry Lee Lewis. There was some great old school music playing all night, which helped further the rock theme. Overall, it felt much more like a restaurant than a bar, which I was completely ok with. Meddlesome Moth was opened by the same folks responsible for Flying Saucer, so their massive beer selection is no surprise.
The menu at Meddlesome Moth is pretty much set up tapas style, so we ordered several different "small plates" to try out: Heirloom Tomato Burrata, Pig and Fig, Baby Back Ribs, and Chicken & Waffles (one of their daily specials).
The Heirloom Tomato Burrata was the first dish to come out, which made sense since it came from the salad section of the menu.
This dish was pretty self-explanatory: mixed heirloom tomatoes, Italian burrata cheese, and basil pesto. It was an interesting twist on a tomato and mozzarella salad, and a great way to start the meal. The acidity of the heirloom tomatoes paired nicely with the burrata cheese. I also enjoyed the aromatic basil pesto, although they were a little heavy-handed with the olive oil. All in all, this was a very tasty salad.
I wasn't entirely sure how the food would be coming out, but waiter seemed content to bring the individual plates out one by one. This made it more like a four-course meal, and up next was the Pig and Fig.
The "Pig and Fig" needs a little more explanation than the first dish. Here we have crispy pork belly, blue cheese grits, and bbq fig. The image I had in my head didn't really compare to the extremely purple food that came out, courtesy of the fig-laden grits. My first bite of the grits came with a big punch of blue cheese that was pretty overpowering. The grits themselves had very little flavor, though the addition of the fig barbecue sauce helped tremendously. The star of this dish was clearly the pork belly, but I really wish there had been more of it. For my last bite, I coupled the pork belly with a whole fig, and I found the combination to be spectacular! I would have preferred a big plate of figs and pork belly actually.
Two plates down, two more to go. Our third selection ended up being the Baby Back Ribs, which the barbecue lover in me had been eagerly anticipating all evening.
The menu describes their Baby Back Ribs as a half-rack of ribs with an agave glaze. I wasn't really expecting smoked ribs at a place like this, but I was hoping they'd at least be tasty. The ribs came pre-cut and stacked on the plate like Jenga pieces. The glaze had a very honey-like quality to it, and was too sweet for my liking. It actually gave the ribs more of an Asian barbecue flavor, though I'm not sure that's what they were going for. Most restaurants make the mistake of thinking that "falling off the bone" is something to strive for with ribs, but these were actually a little undercooked and hard to separate from the bone. While I didn't find any smokiness in the ribs, the side of potato salad had a weird flavor reminiscent of artificial smoke flavoring. I liked the mix of white and purple potatoes, but the taste was just off. It was also pretty sweet, and my wife and I agreed that a more acidic potato salad would have paired better with the sweetness of the ribs.
Our last plate was their special Chicken & Waffles, which looked more like an actual entree than the previous three.
Their version of chicken and waffles was a crispy fried chicken breast, served atop waffle triangles, and covered in a maple hollandaise. My previous experiences with chicken and waffles have all involved maple syrup, but the hollandaise was a really interesting alternative. It was less sweet than syrup, and gave it more of a savory quality. The chicken was really tender, though the batter was maybe just a little too crispy. My wife and I agreed that this was the best of our four dinner selections. In fact, we inhaled it so quickly that by the end she was asking, "Do I have chicken on my nose?"
Our dinner here ended up being much more slow-paced than I'm used to (especially in Dallas), but that wasn't necessarily a bad thing. It gave us ample time to enjoy each other's company. If it hadn't been for the sub-par ribs, this would have probably been a four-star meal. The one thing I wasn't really that excited about was the price. I don't consider myself to be a cheapskate, but the quantity and quality we got at Meddlesome Moth didn't really feel like a $100 dinner. If we go back, I'll definitely have to re-evaluate my menu selections.
1621 Oak Lawn Ave.
Dallas, TX 75207